|SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT |
116 East Main Street
Dedicated: ca.May 19, 1911
Type: Granite pedestal and figure
Supplier: Fox-Becker Granite Company
Height: Approximately 15 1/2'
SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, Clinton, is significant historically because it was erected by a women's group. Women's organizations were active during the years 1861-1865, supporting the troops in a variety of ways, and continued to be active for many decades. For other monuments erected by or with the strong participation of women, see SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Bridgeport, and SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, Putnam.
The Clinton group, Chapman Woman's Relief Corps, No. 49, formed a monument committee in May l908. Its accomplishment in dedicating the memorial only three years later, to the month, was unusually speedy. Ten members of the Chapman family from the adjoining town of Westbrook served in the war.
The monument is different from many in that it mentions sailors as well as soldiers. It follows precedent set by a multitude of its predecessors, however, by having as its principal sentiment, even as late as 1911, the need to preserve the union.
SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, Clinton, is significant artistically because it is an example of a Barre, Vermont, granite memorial of simple straightforward design. The curved line of the dado base and die is continuous up to the pedestal cornice. The rounded shape of the cornice and its embellished raised foliate corners are classical motifs suitable for the year 1911. The monument is remarkable in that there is no lettering in the stone, no names of men, no battle names-perhaps indications of a modest budget. The soldier's figure is conventional.
The monument was supplied by Fox-Becker Granite Company of Middletown. Whether Fox-Becker cut the stone in its Middletown shop or simply acted as agent for an unknown Barre quarry is uncertain. For another example of a monument supplied by Fox-Becker, see SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, Seymour. The firm continues in business today under the name of Fox-Becker-Sterry Granite.
SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, Clinton, is composed of a pedestal and figure in light gray Barre granite. The memorial is dedicated to all Clinton men who served in the Civil War. It faces south toward East Main Street in a small triangular park called Liberty Green. A flagpole and small cannon are nearby.
The monument is surrounded by a chain which is supported by granite piers at the four corners, and to the rear it is set off by shrubs, which are not in contact with the stone.
The monument's plinth appears to be a limestone slab whose top surface slopes upward toward the pedestal. The base of the pedestal has a curved surface topped by a torus molding as transition to the die. The bronze plaque whose lettering is recorded below is on the front surface of the die; the other three sides are plain except for a raised Seal of Connecticut on the back. At the top of the die a band of incised vertical lines serves as frieze under a second torus molding. The cornice above projects in a rounded shape. The corners of the cornice are embellished with a raised foliate motif.
The soldier stands at in place rest with his left foot forward. The butt of his rifle is at 90 degrees to the direction of the foot. His left hand grasps the barrel, over the right. A cap box is suspended from the waist belt under his right arm, but the bayonet usually found at the left hip is missing, apparently broken off. The soldier gazes straight ahead under the visor of his kepi.
Front (south) face of dado, bronze plaque, raised caps:ERECTED BY
THE WOMAN'S RELIEF CORPS
AND THE CITIZENS OF CLINTON
IN MEMORY OF THE SOLDIERS
AND SAILORS WHO FOUGHT
TO PRESERVE THE UNION
1861 - 1865
FOR THE DEAD A TRIBUTE,
FOR THE LIVING A MEMORY,
FOR POSTERITY AN EMBLEM
OF LOYALTY TO THE FLAG
OF THEIR COUNTRY
Clinton Recorder, May 19, 1911, p. 1, cited by Gilman.
William M. Crittenden, Jr., preliminary SOS! Survey Questionnaire.
Frances M. Gilman, Librarian, Clinton Historical Society, letter, March 17, 1994.